Vietnamese Herby Chicken Rice with Nuoc Cham Sauce

cook 30 mins
  • 350 g (11 1/2 oz) long-grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 850 ml (1 pint 9 fl oz) good-quality chicken stock
  • 400 g (13 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced
  • 6 shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 red chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh root ginger
  • handful of chopped mint leaves
  • handful of chopped coriander
  • 8 spring onions, finely sliced, to garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 lime
  • 3–4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1–2 tablespoons water
  • To make the nuoc cham sauce, put the garlic and red chilli in a mortar and mash with the pestle to form a paste. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the paste, then remove the pulp and add it to the mixture. Mash to a paste again, then stir in enough fish sauce and water to dilute. Set aside.
  • Put the rice in a heavy-based saucepan, then stir in the stock, chicken, shallots, red chillies and ginger and bring to the boil. Cover tightly, reduce the heat to low and cook, undisturbed, for 12–15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed, the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the herbs and spring onions. Cover and leave to stand for a few minutes.
  • Ladle into warm bowls and serve with the nuoc cham sauce spooned over or in a bowl on the side.
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